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Getting The Most From Healthy Fruits And Vegetables
By Tony Robinson, Tue Jan 10th
Fruits and vegetables are among the healthiest of all foods, andthe great variety of these foods at the local grocery storemakes it easier than every to enjoy great meals and snacksanytime the mood strikes you.
The latest food guidelines recommend that adults eat from fiveto nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. While thatmay seem like a lot, it is an important goal to strive for, anda very reachable one.
A serving of a fruit or vegetable is equal to:
1 medium sized vegetable or fruit (such as an apple,orange or banana) 2 small fruits (such as kiwi fruit orplums) ½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned fruits orvegetables ½ cup of 100% fruit juice ¼ cup ofdried fruit 1 cup of green salad
Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is a greatway to start a healthier lifestyle. Diets high in fruits andvegetables have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease,diabetes, stroke and even some kinds of cancer. Diets high infruits and vegetables are also important in maintaining ahealthy weight.
Since different varieties of fruits and vegetables containdifferent types and levels of nutrients, it is important to eacha good variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating
a goodcombination of yellow, orange, red and green fruits andvegetables is a great way to ensure adequate levels of nutrition.
Fruits and vegetables are also an important source of fiber. Oneway to maximize the amount of fiber you get from fruits andvegetables is to eat the entire fruit and vegetable includingthe edible peel. Eating fruits and vegetables whole, instead ofsimply drinking fruit juice, is the best way to enjoy the fiberthese foods have to offer. Orange juice may be very healthy, butit does not contain the same amount of fiber as a whole orange.
Getting sufficient fiber in the diet offers a great many healthbenefits, including aiding in digestion, lowering levels ofcholesterol in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease andstroke, and reducing the chances of some forms of cancer. Inaddition, fiber is though to play an important role incontrolling levels of blood sugar in diabetics. Fiber also helpsdieters feel full while limiting the number of calories youconsume.
Many people wonder if canned and frozen fruits and vegetablesare as healthy and nutritious as the fresh varieties. The simpleanswer to this question is yes. Canned and frozen fruits andvegetables contain just as many vitamins and minerals as theirfresh counterparts, so it is fine to replace fresh fruits andvegetables with canned and frozen varieties when fresh ones arenot available.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are often less expensive, however,especially when they are in season. In addition, local farmersmarkets and produce stands are often great sources of thefreshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables at some excellentprices.
How vegetables and fruits are prepared is just as important ashow they are chosen. It is important to rinse fresh fruit andvegetables thoroughly under clean running water. This step isimportant in order to remove any dirt, pesticide residue orbacterial contamination. The outermost leaves of lettuce andcabbage should be removed, and the outside of root vegetableslike carrots and potatoes should be removed, especially if youplan to consume the skins of those vegetables. Vegetables andfruits should be washed right before they are used in order tokeep them as fresh as possible.
The best ways to cook vegetables in order to maintain theirfreshness are to boil, microwave or steam the veggies until theyare tender and crisp. It is best to use as little water aspossible when cooking vegetables. That is because overcookingcan destroy some of the valuable vitamins and minerals thevegetables contain.
About the author:Tony Robinson is a Company CEO, webmaster husband and dad. Inhis busy lifestyle he has placed importance on health andfitness. Visit http://www.eat-healthily.com for good eating tipsand techniques to assist you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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